Just finished The Man by the Sea by Jack Benton (Chris Ward writing as).
What it's about:
"John "Slim" Hardy, heavy drinker and disgraced soldier turned bumbling private detective, is hired to investigate Ted Douglas, an investment banker who slips out of work every Friday to visit a desolate cove on the Lancashire coast. There, he walks to the shore, opens an old book, and begins to read aloud.
His wife thinks he's having an affair.
Slim thinks he's insane.
The truth is more incredible than either could imagine.
The Man by the Sea is the sensational debut novel by Jack Benton, a classic story of love, betrayal, murder, and intrigue."
I really like this book. I read it in "installments" as an ARC. Each installment ended with a cliff hanger! I am mentioning this because I liked it so much that I hated having to wait for the next chapters. It was definitely a page turner and easily read in one or two sittings.
Slim is hired by Emma to follow her husband Ted. She said she suspects he is having an affair. Slim discovers Ted is going to the beach regularly and reading out of a book in a different language, as if trying to summon someone or something. As he investigates, Slim finds out that Ted's girlfriend of many years ago, disappeared, and was presumed drowned. He discovers this is a cold case and gets right in the middle of a dangerous situation.
As in any good noir, there is a dark feel, a private detective with problems, a woman and several near misses.
This is a new type of book for the author. I think he did a great job and am looking forward to the next in this series.
About the author:
Chris Ward is a native of Cornwall, England, but currently lives and works in Nagano, Japan. He is the author of The Tube Riders Trilogy, The Man Who Built the World and Head of Words, as well as numerous short stories and collections.
He spends his time snowboarding, writing, playing guitar in his rock band, Steampunk Unicorn (www.reverbnation/steampunkunicorn), and generally having too much to say about just about everything.
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